December 7, 2010

PISA scores for Shanghai

Here are the results from the 2009 PISA test of 15-year-old's school performance with the first ever scores from the city of Shanghai. Shanghai swept the three categories. (Shanghai is not the full country of China -- Shanghai is the current favored son city of the regime, with restrictions on who gets to internally migrate there). Also, this is the first time Shanghai participated, so they presumably waited until they were ready to rip on the test.

Mean is 500, standard deviation is 100. So, Shanghai students beat the advanced world's international mean by 0.75, 0.56, and 1.00 standard deviations. Pretty good. On an IQ-like scale, that's approaching 112.

Having seen the National Merit Semifinalist names for 2009 in California, where there was a single Cohen and 49 Wangs among the honorees, I can't say I was too surprised. Santa Clara County might challenge Shanghai in a heads-up match, though.

Interestingly, the NYT table left out some low-scoring countries, such as Mexico, but then what possible policy implications do the educational attainment and intelligence of Mexicans have for an American audience? None, none  I tell you! Here's an eyeball-frying graphic from The Guardian of the OECD countries (leaving out unrepresentative cities like Shanghai). Check out the bottom line:

Converting to an IQ scale, Mexico scores an 88, although that's probably held down by the low quality of Mexican schools. 

You can look up all the results on the official PISA site here. The crazy colored Guardian graph is somewhat unfair to Mexico by making it the lowest: there are a number of countries that did worse, including Argentina. My general impression is that Mexico has been coming up in these international comparisons over the last decade.

119 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure importing a hundred million 90-IQ immigrants will help bring the numbers up.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how low Israel scores. I'm sure the Svigors of the world will have a field day with that one. :)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tallied how many 15 year olds actually took the test and compared that to how many 15 year olds are actually in the country and then calculated what % of the country's 15 year olds scored above x?

It would be interesting and possible since the values are finite.

I mean what really matters is what percent score over some threshold and how many there are total.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Finland is so close to being number one. Obviously it has far too many blue-eyed, towheaded white people. If it were to import a few hundred thousand Iraqi refugees and Cameroonian boat people, it might be able to edge out Shanghai.

I wonder what the effect of diversity is on the European countries. I wonder if each country breaks out its scores by race, and if so what those scores would be for the European share of their population vs. the non-European share. France and Great Britain seem pretty dang low on that list.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Interestingly, the NYT table left out some low-scoring countries, such as Mexico, but then what possible policy implications do the educational attainment and intelligence of Mexicans have for an American audience?

LOL. Mexico? What-ico? Mexi-what?

kurt9 said...

China is a remarkably corrupt country. Its most certain that they made sure that the best and the brightest students took the test and were well-prepped prior to taking the test. If the results show a mean IQ of 112, it is likely the real mean is around 105 or so, which is still not bad.

Everything I have read about Mexican IQ is that it is around 95. Not much lower than the white average.

PISA tests are like the SAT test. You can study to improve your score. They do not represent inherent cognitive ability.

eh said...

...the low quality of Mexican schools.

Hmm.

So I guess if Mexico had 'better schools' (stop me if you've heard this argument before) they'd have better test scores. But Mexico is a country with a relatively low average IQ, and therefore a relatively small 'smart fraction'. Which is perhaps why, or one reason why, they don't have better schools. A dilemma.

OK, now that we have that straight...

Some apparent anomalies/surprises in this table, e.g. the relatively high position of Canada and Estonia (?) vis-a-vis the US.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Canada has something working for them. Congrats I guess.

Anonymous said...

"China is a remarkably corrupt country. Its most certain that they made sure that the best and the brightest students took the test and were well-prepped prior to taking the test. If the results show a mean IQ of 112, it is likely the real mean is around 105 or so, which is still not bad."

Hilarious Steve. I was wondering when these kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories would start popping up amongst your WN readership. :)

Anonymous said...

kurt9 said...

China is a remarkably corrupt country. Its most certain that they made sure that the best and the brightest students took the test and were well-prepped prior to taking the test. If the results show a mean IQ of 112, it is likely the real mean is around 105 or so, which is still not bad.

Yup, this is all true.

What is the most interesting part though, is that they measure a single Chinese city against the other competitors, which for the most part are represented by countries/nation-states.

Typical for Asio-philes.

Anonymous said...

"PISA tests are like the SAT test. You can study to improve your score. They do not represent inherent cognitive ability."

According to the College Board, the SAT can only be minimally studied for because it is fairly g-loaded. I'm sure though, Kurt9, that most liberals would agree with you that the SAT is highly coachable ;)

Bob said...

Mexico generally does not have low quality schools and has a well-funded and influential education sector.

The large non-Spanish-speaking Indian population largely doesn't go to school, and other low status groups don't attend much past age 10 or 12. The parents don't want them to go in rural areas when they can work on the farm. In urban areas, the local school authorities try to prevent the poor from attending public schools by requiring a lot of paperwork to enroll and fees for books and uniforms.

Like in many US districts, in Mexico you have to blame the students and their parents, not the teachers, for low test scores.

Anonymous said...

Canada has something working for them.

Close to the Canadian border - ? Oh, wait.

Bob said...

Given that this was a *math* test, and the cities tested are high-income areas with restricted residency, this is evidence against a Chinese national IQ of 105 that you seem some places.

Severn said...

This seems to be exceptionally meaningless. What's the point in comparing a city in one country to other countries? I imagine that if you looked at the PISA scores for Cambridge, MA you'd see unusually high numbers. But so what? It tells you nothing useful.

Severn said...

China is a remarkably corrupt country. Its most certain that they made sure that the best and the brightest students took the test and were well-prepped prior to taking the test.



That's true. Modern China looks suspiciously like 1930's Germany, right down to the carefully staged and somewhat faked Olympic games and the belief that they are a superior race. I'd be surprised if they did not attempt to inflate their scores.

Severn said...

Hilarious Steve. I was wondering when these kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories would start popping up amongst your WN readership



You mean the sort of "bizarre conspiracy theories" which suggest that China's actual average IQ is 105, as found in previous studies?

Macao, China scored comparably to Portugal and Italy, though for some reason this is not being highlighted.

Ron Guhname said...

Everything I have read about Mexican IQ is that it is around 95. Not much lower than the white average.

A recent study of general intelligence found an American white-Hispanic difference of eight-tenths of a standard deviation. That puts the mean Hispanic IQ at 88.

pzed said...

"What is the most interesting part though, is that they measure a single Chinese city against the other competitors, which for the most part are represented by countries/nation-states."

no conspiracies here. it was done for logistical reasons. this is a non-oecd nation you're talking about here. getting proper sampling and overseeing the testing process was done by an international group. to get a proper sampling in a billion+ nation takes a little footwork. they're planning to release results for other areas of china in coming months as they can corral the manpower for it.

Laban said...

"The picture on race is no better. Just one British black Caribbean student was admitted to Oxford last year. That is not a misprint: one student. Merton College, Oxford, has not admitted a single black student for five years."

Now I'm not sure if MP David Lammy has his facts right here (students aren't obliged to report their ethnicity, and an assertion he makes that Cambridge have no black lecturers is demonstrably untrue) - but the general picture is of a very low number of black students at these most elite universities.

Yet in the comments (341 so far) only two people mention the elephant in the drawing room.

Ali said...

I'm a little surprised by the low scores of Israel and Luxembourg.

Laban said...

The UK has fallen to be below OECD average in maths and reading - still above in science. 23% of UK primary school pupils are ethnic minority, 20% in secondary schools.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7372853.stm

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to find all sorts of shenanigans with the Shanghai numbers, including bribery and cheating by individual students in addition to systematic manipulation of score aggregates by the authorities.

One constant in the 20th century was that you couldn't trust numbers generated by Communist authorities, and the Chinese educational establishment has the additional effect of routine corruption.

adfasdfasdf said...

If you do a PISA testing only for ashkenazi Jews in the US, it will leave everyone else in the dust.

Anonymous said...

Where would the US rank if you just took the score of whites, leaving out both NAMs and Asians?

Anonymous said...

Canada is clearly the highest-scoring country among those benefiting from 'diversity'. I guess our immigration system tends to keep out those who have been diversifying the US.

How else could anybody explain the gap between Canada and the US ? Oh, also, it seems that 'evil Canadian socialism' is good for something.

adfasdfasdf said...

One thing though.. and we see this pattern over and over...

Asians, when they're 15 yrs old, do well on tests like this... but when it comes to student performance among college students, Asians fall way behind. This has been the case for decades.
Because so much Asian education is geared toward GOING TO TOP COLLEGE and because the main emphasis is on ROTE MEMORIZATION, masses of younger Asians do better on tests like this because they've crammed so much stuff inside their heads.
But in the college level, rote memorization is far less crucial than the ability to think originally, creatively, logically, and analytically, and this is where all those once-highscoring Asians fall behind Westerners(at least white and Jewish ones).

So, masses of Asians do better in middle school and high school but are generally intellectually poorly prepared for college(where they are required to think as individuals than as masses of drones memorizing data) and/or could be totally burnt out by the time they go to college.

And I could be wrong about this--and it may vary from Asian country by country--, but I remember some Asian-American telling me that Asian schools have four yrs of middle school and 2 yrs of high school(unlike US which has 2 yrs of middle school and 4 yrs of highschool). So, before the competition to get into good college, there is the competition to get into good high school, which may be why young Asian students are more motivated to study for tests.

Johnny T said...

Two major IQ tests were conducted in China during the 1980s. The first was conducted exclusively in Shangai and found a mean of 112. The second was conducted in the 6 "main cities" of China (ie Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Chongqin, Wuhan) and found a mean of 100 for the children, but a lower mean for the adults. A good question would be whether the lower scores for older residents reflects poor nutrition and schooling (not to mention the disastrous cultural revolution), or whether it reflects that a lot of poor kids don't go to school (therefore biasing the sample).

In the mid 1990s, Beijing kids scored as well as Minneapolis kids. When weighted for race, Minneapolis kids were at 100 IQ.

So there is really something to the idea that Shanghai has some really smart kids, even by the high standards of China. However, the total urban mean for China is the same as the white American mean. For rural or non-major city populations, it's less clear, as there haven't been representative IQ tests in those regions. However, it does appear than on the GaoKao (National Entrance Exam for Chinese universities), the urban kids score massively higher. So take that for what it's worth. Of course, the rural and slum schools are horrible, so it's not fair to compare them either...

I believe there was a Chinese-normed IQ test that, a few years ago, found a mean IQ of 115 for Zhejiang province.

Shanghai's high score makes sense, as Shanghai is an expensive city with an overwhelming proportion of affluent people. Not to mention it's populated by Cantonese and Zhejiangese, who are both pretty smart and industrious subpopulations.

Corruption and number cooking is a fact of life in China, so it wouldn't be surprising for a teacher to tell his dumb students to stay home. This actually happens during the Gao Kao. PISA, however, is more stringent about where it tests. Besides that, the scores are roughly in line with what I'd expect.

It's interesting that the Shanghai math scores are so exceptionally good, in comparison to the science and reading scores, even when you just look at the East Asian countries.

adsfsadfasdf said...

Biggest surprise is why Argentina scored lower than Mexico. Isn't Argentina more white?

afasdfasfd said...

"Interesting how low Israel scores. I'm sure the Svigors of the world will have a field day with that one. :)"

Only 20% of Jews in Israel are ashkenazi.

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me: "American are more creative than Chinese."
Everybody can relax now.

Anonymous said...

If you control for socioeconomic status, Shanghai is in line with the other East Asian nations. Remember that the Communist party has a policy of demolishing urban slums, kicking out the less useful, and giving residence permits to the well educated and mercantile. So you have a relatively stratified urban population, which is partly why urban China is really rich compared to rural China. Considering Shanghai's presence as the business/finance capital, its residents are going to be even more selected. Considering how expensive it is to raise a child in the city, those kids are going to tend to come from the more affluent backgrounds.

Also, Shanghai has a population ethnically pretty similar to HK. So similar scores do make sense.

Anonymous said...

"Finland is so close to being number one. Obviously it has far too many blue-eyed, towheaded white people."

I always thought there were only a few blondes in Finland.

Anonymous said...

"Everything I have read about Mexican IQ is that it is around 95. Not much lower than the white average."

Troll.

Anonymous said...

"The large non-Spanish-speaking Indian population largely doesn't go to school, and other low status groups don't attend much past age 10 or 12... Like in many US districts, in Mexico you have to blame the students and their parents, not the teachers, for low test scores."

Unfortunately, though, Bob (and to also address Kurt9), the uneducated indian derivatives are what we're getting by and large. So yes, they're going to be cognitively challenged.

Yeah, we're screwed.

Anonymous said...

China, Finland, Japan, Norway, Korea, and Switzerland all obviously benefit from diversity.................oh wait, those aren't diverse places at all are they?


Im aware that our smart fraction is as smart as anybody's but still, this doesn't bode well.

Anonymous said...

http://www.parapundit.com/archives/005921.html

""COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A study of college freshmen in the United States and in China found that Chinese students know more science facts than their American counterparts -- but both groups are nearly identical when it comes to their ability to do scientific reasoning.

Neither group is especially skilled at reasoning, however, and the study suggests that educators must go beyond teaching science facts if they hope to boost students’ reasoning ability
"


The Chinese students were from Tsinghua and a few other decent quality engineering schools. The Americans were pre-engineering kids from some decent quality schools in Ohio and the Midwest.

"Researchers tested nearly 6,000 students majoring in science and engineering at seven universities -- four in the United States and three in China. Chinese students greatly outperformed American students on factual knowledge of physics -- averaging 90 percent on one test, versus the American students’ 50 percent, for example.

But in a test of science reasoning, both groups averaged around 75 percent -- not a very high score, especially for students hoping to major in science or engineering.
"

Strong innate reasoning ability is why the Schwartzes and Cohens continue to be on the top, even if the Zhangs do really well on the PSAT and other tests.

I know the tendency here is to mock Asians for being grinds, but..... it says a lot if their mean IQ is the same, but they know a lot more and do better on the tests. It's why they do so well in mass manufacturing and produce so many engineers. We'd be smart to replicate their example, if possible.

anony-mouse said...

Personally, I blame Israel's low scores on the Iranian-created Stuxnet worm that obviously infected the tallying computers.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, weren't some people raving about what a great country Chile is? If its PISA scores are representative of Chileans generally, you have to wonder how they do.

More to the point, since massive Latin American immigration to your country WILL NOT be stopped (my expectation, anyway), maybe you need to work out how to maintain a decent society with lower average levels of human capital.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the effect of diversity is on the European countries. I wonder if each country breaks out its scores by race, and if so what those scores would be for the European share of their population vs. the non-European share.

This is being done since at least 2006. Just download the docs from the OECD.

I remember a German statistician pointing out in the early 2000s that different outcomes of different German states can be explained with the immigrant population. I don't remember his name. At first, he was smeared as hate-monger, but later vindicated.

To cut things short: Kids with immigrant score way below natives. Up to one standard deviation less. The only exception is Canada, where kids with immigrants backgrounds score exactly the same as natives.

Caveat: Differences of about 20 points, as far as I remember, are not statistically significant. There is a nice matrix in the OECD report that shows whether the differences are statistically significant for each pairing of countries.

Anonymous said...

"Converting to an IQ scale, Mexico scores an 88, although that's probably held down by the low quality of Mexican schools."

In Mexico, if you're 15 and still in school, you're probably the cream of the crop.

I thought Jason Richwine found that children of Mexican immigrants scored closer to 83. That makes more sense if you live in CA, where blacks and Latinos perform about the same on public intelligence tests with questions like: Where should you insert a ticket in a public transit gate that you've walked through over 100 times before; and, if you are waiting in a long line, should you take out your ticket in advance and see if you need to add fare -- or, do you wait until you get to the gate, then rummage around for your ticket (it's always in the last place you look), then run it through the slot (once you find it) four times before you figure you need to add fare? How long does it take you to navigate the menus on an ATM? What do you do with a Big Mac wrapper or a Styrofoam box after you've finished noisily and sloppily eating in a public place where there are prominent signs which say No Eating or Drinking.

Steve Sailer said...

The Mexican government has been paying parents to keep their kids in school, so the undereducation that was so bad for so long in Mexico has been declining.

The teacher's union in Mexico remains a big problem: teacher's jobs are hereditary. If your children don't want the job after you, they can auction it off.

Severn said...

A few weeks ago, weren't some people raving about what a great country Chile is? If its PISA scores are representative of Chileans generally, you have to wonder how they do.


Things are always relative. By Latin America standards, Chileans are pretty intelligent. And according to that Rinderman discussed here recently their politicians are smarter than those in America.

Anonymous said...

I just saw Arne Duncan (EdSec) on PBS, saying we need 12-14 hr, longer school year, more meals, more counseling, ANYTHING to keep butts in seats long enough for everyone to graduate and go right to college, like these here Chinese and Finns.

This at a time when so many districts are losing tax rev, laying off teachers, cutting programs. Like this depression is going to end anytime soon.

I missed the runup to this "solution" but that alone made me want to puke.

Severn said...

Only 20% of Jews in Israel are ashkenazi.


I don't know where you plucked that number from. Perhaps you are thinking of the fact that 20% of Israelis were born in the US or Europe. But the majority of Israeli born Jews are Ashkenazim, as are the bulk of that 20% foreign born number.

Anonymous said...

That vaunted Jewish IQ doesn't seem to be too impressive to me given Israel's pitiful performance.

Severn said...

If you do a PISA testing only for ashkenazi Jews in the US, it will leave everyone else in the dust.


I'm sure you will be substantiating that claim any month now ...

Anonymous said...

"That vaunted Jewish IQ doesn't seem to be too impressive to me given Israel's pitiful performance."

Well, you're wrong. That vaunted white IQ doesn't seem to be too impressive to me.

sabril said...

"That vaunted Jewish IQ doesn't seem to be too impressive to me given Israel's pitiful performance."

Israel always seems to get its clock cleaned in these types of comparisons. And yet in terms of science and technology they seem hold their own.

Deckin said...

That China is a massively corrupt country, in nearly every facet, and that the students in Shanghai actually are brighter than average American and European are not mutually exclusive propositions.

I have a particularly good vantage point on this. I teach a large number of Chinese and Korean (as well as US variants of each and our more native variety) students a course that imposes a fair cognitive load. To keep things spiced up, I offer them brain teasers for credit.

My observations: Chinese and other Asian native are incredibly well trained in Algebra and, unlike US students by and large, recognizing when a problem really is an algebraic one. The same applies to Geometry and Trig as well. In those areas, the differences are just awe inspiring.

However, when the teasers are of a more purely logical variety, much of the difference disappears. For instance, on Smullyan-type problems, Asian students are about as flummoxed as our own dim bulbs. I doubt this is a function of language either because certainly the concepts of 'true' and 'false' seem clear enough to all.

Yet these very same students, when asked to do more complicated epsilon-delta proofs in Calculus or mathematical induction in Analysis, again clean the clocks of our natives.

So the picture in my mind is anything but clear. That there are differences is clear, but it's more complicated than 'Asians smarter' would suggest.

Anonymous said...

"Where would the US rank if you just took the score of whites, leaving out both NAMs and Asians?"

Some guys at Harvard wondered the same thing.

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG10-19_HanushekPetersonWoessmann.pdf

Anonymous said...

"Biggest surprise is why Argentina scored lower than Mexico. Isn't Argentina more white?"

Not really, according to genetic studies.

Anonymous said...

I like how whenever evidence appears suggesting East Asians are "smarter" than Whites, HBDs suddenly dust off their critical thinking faculties.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese have been known to cheat - big-time - on these standardized exams. For example, US grad schools were flooded a decade or so ago with Graduate Record Exam score well into the 1500s (really high) from Chinese students. When these students arrived in the USA their skills were far below what the grad-schools had anticipated. Turns out the earliest takers were memorizing parts of the exam - writing the bits down soon after taking it and combining their efforts until they had essentially the full exam. Those packets were sold to all those GRE ''superstars''.

Eventually all of this was found out of course and precautions taken - but the lessen is that the Chinese have no scruples when it comes to these sorts of issues.

Anonymous said...

No matter how you feel about Jewish-American political views, I don't see how you can deny their intellectual facilities. They are par excellence in science, technology, business, entrapranuership, the arts, music, ideology, politics, and pretty much any field you can name. Everything from the Polio vaccine to investment banking to Microsoft to Hollywood was created by Jews, so I don't see any possibility of them being a below average group.

Perhaps Arab, Sephardic, and Orthodox fertility is really high. Nothing else makes much sense, given the historic performance of Jews.

Anonymous said...

Cheating is rampant in China - in business, in government, in universities, in issued economic stats, in individual school test scores, etc. It's not unreasonable to assume cheating here. However, PISA used pretty stringent measures to keep cheating from occuring in Shanghai and, it appears, these test scores are legit.

Less legit are the mainland China IQ scores acquired back in the 1980s by Hou Zhang, where students outscored adults by 0.6 SDs. I recall another time when a comparison between an American and rural Chinese school academic achievement was done. The rural kids did well on the test, but their standard deviation was unbelievably low and some of the other metrics looked funny. The PISA test, fortunately, was supervised enough that it'd have been difficult for China to have significantly screwed with the results.

Of course, it says something when China only lets Shanghai get tested, as opposed to the capital Beijing, and waits until 2009 to start.

Severn said...

Perhaps Arab, Sephardic, and Orthodox fertility is really high. Nothing else makes much sense, given the historic performance of Jews.


Jews historical performance is actually rather unimpressive. Prior to the 20th century the notion of "Jewish genius" would have seemed absurd.


Everything from the Polio vaccine to investment banking to Microsoft to Hollywood was created by Jews

Well ... no. But with those sorts of beliefs I guess its not surprising that you refuse to accept the data on Jewish IQ.

Severn said...

I like how whenever evidence appears suggesting East Asians are "smarter" than Whites, HBDs suddenly dust off their critical thinking faculties.


I like how this sort of witless commentary always comes from anonymous commenters. So we're all happy.

Whiskey said...

Bill Gates was Jewish? Who knew?

Tsinghua is China's #2 University. It is a combo of Yale and MIT. So bear that in mind in the comparisons. Only Beijing University is higher rank.

Anonymous said...

Macao scoring so much less than Shanghai? I thought the Southern Chinese were smarter than the Northerners. Anyways these tests keep on proving how people with their origins in cold climates tend to outscore those from warmer places.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Israel always seems to get its clock cleaned in these types of comparisons. And yet in terms of science and technology they seem hold their own."

How about a test comparing diaspora Jews to Israeli Jews? Because I for the life of me can't see why the hell any really smart Jew would want to live in Israel. That's got to be the real reason Israel seems to underperform on these tests.

There is no anti-Semitism remaining in the Western world that has any impact on Jews' ability to succeed. They comprise 13% of the Senate, 33% of the US and Canadian Supreme Courts, and 1/3rd of the richest people in the US. Visit any US resort town - Aspen, Vail, Sun Valley, Park City, Jackson Hole - and they comprise a hugely disproportionate share of the population in states where they are otherwise a rarity.

If the world is your oyster, why in hell would you settle for gefilte fish?

I was thinking of this the other day when some politician felt he had to reconfirm that he 'supports the Jewish people.' When's the last time any politician felt he had to confirm that he supports WASPs?

"The teacher's union in Mexico remains a big problem: teacher's jobs are hereditary."

Kinda like titles of nobility?

Anonymous said...

Macau is the Las Vegas of China. It's all casinos, hotels, and tourist trade workers. It's very different from (and much, much smaller than) trade/financial centers such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and to some degree Shenzhen.

Anonymous said...

You know what's hilarious?

Americans trying furiously to find an excuse for why they didn't do well.

so far, we got:
1) yah, but WE'RE MORE CREATIVE LOL
2) yah, but THEY STUDY MORE LOL
3) yah, but they CHEATED AND HAD THEIR DUMB KIDS STAY HOME LOL

I miss anything?

Anonymous said...

adfasdfasdf said...

If you do a PISA testing only for ashkenazi Jews in the US, it will leave everyone else in the dust.

Here we go again with your favorite obsession.

Only 20% of Jews in Israel are ashkenazi.

Prove it Andrei.

Anonymous said...

Severn said...

If you do a PISA testing only for ashkenazi Jews in the US, it will leave everyone else in the dust.


I'm sure you will be substantiating that claim any month now ...


So many dumbasses on this board. How is that statement even controversial?

sabril said...

" Because I for the life of me can't see why the hell any really smart Jew would want to live in Israel."

Many were born there and surely there is an inertia factor. Also, from what I hear, many of the Jewish areas are pretty nice.

Another possibility is that there are a lot of religious types who are pretty smart but spend a lot of time studying the Torah and this takes away from their study of more traditional academic subjects.

If Israel is 15% ultra-relgious types, quite possibly 25 or even 30% of the children are so.

Anonymous said...

Macao, China scored comparably to Portugal and Italy, though for some reason this is not being highlighted.

Yeah, although it's understandable to find broad trends more interesting than specific cities, it's pretty interesting how the talk is all "Yay Singapore! Yay Hong Kong! Uh... Macao?" when it comes to talking about specific Han Chinese cities. The Macanese do pretty well for themselves and are richer than Shanghainese though (and I believe exhibit higher economic growth), so they haven't done too badly for themselves (though I'm sure detractors would say this is a casino mirage phenomenon).

"But in a test of science reasoning, both groups averaged around 75 percent -- not a very high score, especially for students hoping to major in science or engineering."

I've seen this before and do wonder if it presents a bit of a bottleneck to what we would expect East Asian science performance to be based purely on IQ (though of course that would not explain all the historical difference, especially if it's equal). Scientific reasoning is tough and unintuitive to most ways of thinking (though on the plus side might be more trainable than IQ - I've never seen heritabilities for this trait).

Anonymous said...

"Researchers tested nearly 6,000 students majoring in science and engineering at seven universities -- four in the United States and three in China. Chinese students greatly outperformed American students on factual knowledge of physics -- averaging 90 percent on one test, versus the American students’ 50 percent, for example.

But in a test of science reasoning, both groups averaged around 75 percent -- not a very high score, especially for students hoping to major in science or engineering
"

This is what is relevant. Shanghai may have insanely good test scores, but how are they out in the field? Can they design a highly targeted marketing campaign? Can they reconfigure a circuit to achieve greater power efficiency? Can they pioneer a better quality valuation model to determine the correct pricing for an acquisition target?

That's what will take them from mass manufacturing to higher end economic activities.

There are a lot of really smart people in China, no doubt, but I remain skeptical of claims of superior intelligence.

Here is an article on the finance industry in Shanghai:

"Q: You mentioned that the industry is less mature in China. How else is it different?

A: You could probably write a book about that one, but here are the key differences:

■-Everything is based on relationships, “gut feelings,” and haggling as opposed to sophisticated analysis or negotiation.
■-Most entrepreneurs and management teams here know almost nothing about accounting or finance – many of them don’t even know what an Income Statement is or how much money their business actually makes.
■-To have any chance of representing a company or investing in a company, you need to go there in-person and meet with them – it’s impossible to figure out what’s promising just based on Internet research or filings.
■-There’s no real hedge fund industry, at least not in mainland China – it’s only banking and PE.
■-Many of the smaller finance firms here are actually combination private equity and M&A advisory firms, which can create conflicts of interest.
"


Compare that to much greater sophisication of our American financial industry. I don't want to demean anybody, but the Zhangs are not Cohens.

Anonymous said...

I think we now know why Israel is a relative backwater.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Sabril,

I wasn't arguing that Israel isn't nice. I'm sure some of it's magnificent. My point was more that anyone with real smarts would choose to go where the opportunity is, which mostly isn't in Israel. It's small, it's besieged, and it's far from the primary centers of economic activity. Your access to workers, even highly skilled workers, is far beneath what it is in the US or the UK. Could Brin and Page have built Google in Tel Aviv? I'm guessing probably not.

I can think of lots and lots of smart, famous, rich Jews in the US, the UK, and even Russia. When it comes to thinking of Jews who gained fame or fortune while living in Israel, I come up short.

That's one factor that probably depresses Israel's performance. The one you mentioned about potential being used for religious rather than secular purposes is almost certainly another. Time may tell whether that is potential in reserve or whether ultra-devout Jews are simply dumber than the rest.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, I have serious doubts about the validity of these scores. I can believe China, if all of it were tested, would perform respectably, even near the top. Naturally, I can believe that Mexico and Turkey earned their places at the bottom. But the idea that the US outperformed Austria, Luxembourg, Israel, Germany and Sweden?

Something's seriously amiss.

Anonymous said...

"How else could anybody explain the gap between Canada and the US ? Oh, also, it seems that 'evil Canadian socialism' is good for something."

Yeah, mostly I'm going with the fact that Canada does not have a population that is 27% Hispanic or black, and a student population which is even more NAM than that.

Canada may have more economic socialism, but demographic socialism has done far more damage in the US.

Anonymous said...

"Cheating is rampant in China - in business, in government, in universities, in issued economic stats, in individual school test scores, etc. It's not unreasonable to assume cheating here. However, PISA used pretty stringent measures to keep cheating from occurring in Shanghai and, it appears, these test scores are legit. "

I agree. But I also believe the super high scores for Shanghai could be a selection effect. China has a lot of ultra competitive public high schools located near major population centers like Shanghai (boarding versions of Stuyvesant, Hunter College HS, and the Bronx School of Science in NYC). My wife attended one of these schools. They take only gifted, high performing students. No doubt this somewhat skews scores upward for Shanghai, just as NYC's ultra competitive schools would for NYC if there were A) a few more of them B) they admitted students from the tri-state area, and C) there were no Blacks or Hispanics.

Nevertheless, you gotta hand it to China. They have a large pool of smart kids, and they prepare them well. If America is going to continue to prosper it's going to have to give up the whole social justice and racial equity crap in the public schools, go back to the bad old days of academic tracking, and create a multi-tiered education system like the Germans, who as always, do everything right. Then let the chips fall where they may. And if the PISA exams are predictive, Mexican kids in CA will be outnumbered 20 to one in the highest tier schools, even though they are a majority.

This will require federalizing the school system of course, because you don't think CA non-white politicians and Hispanic voters are going to go for this, even if it was in their long term economic interest. After all, more high paid white computer nerds means more lawns to mow, granite kitchen counters to install, and Subway sandwiches to make, not to mention more taxable income to redistribute!

But until then, get out your credit cards and start ordering those Singapore Math books for your kids. And if you can home school, do it.

Severn said...

How is that statement even controversial?


Have you bothered to look at the data on Jewish IQ? Obviously you have not, because if you had all this garbage about how they "leave everyone else in the dust" in terms of intelligence would strike you as very controversial, Mr Anonymous Coward.

Severn said...

Anonymous said...

You know what's hilarious?



You, Yan Chen.

RKU said...

Afasdfasfd: Only 20% of Jews in Israel are ashkenazi.

A serious problem with making bold factual claims which are totally incorrect and utterly ignorant is that these tends to shred one's credibility on all future factual claims, not to mention more judgmental ones as well..

Anonymous: There are a lot of really smart people in China, no doubt, but I remain skeptical of claims of superior intelligence...Compare that to much greater sophisication of our American financial industry. I don't want to demean anybody, but the Zhangs are not Cohens.

Boy oh boy are we Americans lucky to have such a sophisticated hedge fund industry!

I don't think I've had such a good laugh in many a year...

Anonymous said...

"

Compare that to much greater sophisication of our American financial industry. I don't want to demean anybody, but the Zhangs are not Cohens.


That is why the Bible references ethics regarding usury. Does Confucius?

Anonymous said...

You know what's hilarious?

Americans trying furiously to find an excuse for why they didn't do well.

so far, we got:
1) yah, but WE'RE MORE CREATIVE LOL
2) yah, but THEY STUDY MORE LOL
3) yah, but they CHEATED AND HAD THEIR DUMB KIDS STAY HOME LOL


How about our NAMs brought our scores down.

Anonymous said...

The global financial center is either Wall Street or London. Not Shanghai. You can argue the corruption of our financial industry, but there are methods of valuation, tools to report data, and a pretty broad number of financial instruments. It's not just bazaar haggling, which seems to be the case in Shanghai.

I don't doubt that as time progresses, Shanghai will become more like New York, but....... if their mean IQ is so high already, I'd expect their businessmen would've grasped the value of a financial statement.

Most ordinary people probably wouldn't know how to value an acqusition target and, if they ran a business, might not need a financial statement. That's fine, but a large conglomeration of high IQ people are going to want more information than mere hunches.

I said the Zhangs aren't Cohens, but neither are the Smiths. Most people of any ethnicity are pretty average in intelligence and the elevated cognitive skills of the Ashkenazi are pretty rare. My statement was not an insult towards the Chinese, who I think have plenty on the ball, but a recognition of the reality of the world.

Besides, Japanese-Americans don't do especially well on the PSAT. Did their IQ go down? Or did they assimilate our slacker/surfer culture?

Anonymous said...

I said the Zhangs aren't Cohens, but neither are the Smiths.


Judging by the recent Wall Stret meltdown, even the Cohens aren't Cohens. Or at least they're not the Cohens you imagine them to be.

Anonymous said...

"You can argue the corruption of our financial industry, but there are methods of valuation, tools to report data, and a pretty broad number of financial instruments. It's not just bazaar haggling, which seems to be the case in Shanghai.
"

Really? Do you have any evidence of this? That runs counter to everything I've heard. I keep reading news about how Shanghai is challenging Hong Kong as the financial capital of China, and that Hong Kong is in turn challenging NY and London as the financial capital of the world.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/11/15/hong-kong-seeks-bigger-role-in-global-finance/

Shanghai may not be a global financial center along the lines of a NY, yet. But to refer to it as being nothing more than bazaar haggling is such a ridiculous statement that it's hard for anyone half intelligent to take your seriously, despite some of the good points which you've made.

Anonymous said...

"The global financial center is either Wall Street or London. Not Shanghai. You can argue the corruption of our financial industry, but there are methods of valuation, tools to report data, and a pretty broad number of financial instruments. It's not just bazaar haggling, which seems to be the case in Shanghai."

I just love how historically-parochial some people can be, failing to see that things as they currently stand have always been such, and that history iself is characterized by development and change. Sure, Shanghai ain't host to a mature finance industry at present, but do you think the same will be true in two or three decades time? Do you have any idea what the city was like a mere two or three decades ago. And if you answered in the affirmative to my first question, I'd be very willing to wager an exorbitant amount against you.

I guess you would have much in comon with a member of the scholar-gentry in Song Dynasty China, muttering to himself the subject of the unwashed, flaxen-haired monastics who may have sojourned from the West - "I just can't see how they'll ever accomplish anything - the European peninsula has absolutely nothing on it even remotely comparable to Kaifeng or Suzhou."

Barry Wong

Anonymous said...

"That is why the Bible references ethics regarding usury. Does Confucius?"

Not a lot actually, if anything at all from what I recall. Confucius, as well as the other thinkers from the Warring States era with whom he was associated (Mencius and Xun Zi), however, were very strong advocates of open borders, tariff removal and free trade, asserting, as did Frederic Bastiat in the 19th century and more recently Thomas Friedman, that trade between states would cure war.

Imperial culture did have a bias against the merchant class, and, oddly and uniquely for a pre-modern agrarian civilization, members of the military, at a time when the rest of the eurasian continent was pretty much dominated by pious warrior societies. The prejudice against fighting men is a characteristically Confucian development I feel, since Mencius is so strongly behind abjuration of violence as a tool of the state.

There's not much criticsm of merchants in the pre-Qin Confucians however - I personally think it comes from Legalism, which was the ideology of China's inaugural yet abortive Qin Empire, and which left a deep yet often unacknowledged influence on subsequent Chiense society. The Legalist philosophers absolutely hated despised, and considered them parasites on agrarian producers.

Anonymous said...

How is that statement even controversial?


Have you bothered to look at the data on Jewish IQ? Obviously you have not, because if you had all this garbage about how they "leave everyone else in the dust" in terms of intelligence would strike you as very controversial, Mr Anonymous Coward.



Yeah we all have pseudonymous dumbass. It's way up there.

Anonymous said...

If putting Chinese down make American happy about themselves and relax a bit, i am all for it. Too much attention are focused on China already, all Chinese commentators should stopping arguing and save your breath to do more productive things.

Anonymous said...

Macao only scores comparable to Portugal and Italy if you are either stupid or a liar. I suspect some people are both. The PISA assessment is composed of three components; a reading, science, and mathematics segment. Macau is wedged between Italy and Portugal only on the reading component. It scores considerably higher on the other two, besting both America and several other European nations.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so many people here so anxious to discrdeit China?Fear?Sour grapes?Please check these out:

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

http://ipho2010.hfd.hr/tekst.php?id=32

http://ipho2010.hfd.hr/tekst.php?id=32

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACM_International_Collegiate_Programming_Contest

Anonymous said...

Stop making fun of the Mexicans in America because they'll be the majority in the future by default.If US wants to keep herself competitive,she'd better learn how to attract and keep the 'smart immigrants' namely East Asians and Indians.

Anonymous said...

Please look at these before you bash China:

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

http://ipho2010.hfd.hr/tekst.php?id=32

http://ipho2010.hfd.hr/tekst.php?id=32

http://www.ibo-info.org/results/IBO2010_Final_Results.pdf

RKU said...

I guess you would have much in comon with a member of the scholar-gentry in Song Dynasty China, muttering to himself the subject of the unwashed, flaxen-haired monastics who may have sojourned from the West - "I just can't see how they'll ever accomplish anything - the European peninsula has absolutely nothing on it even remotely comparable to Kaifeng or Suzhou."

Ha, ha---so very true...

Severn said...

Yeah we all have pseudonymous dumbass.


No, dumbass, we don't all have pseudonyms. I have a pseudonym. You're too stupid or lazy to give yourself one.

Anonymous said...

I'm always amused at the USA!USA! "We're No.1" dumbshits who come up with reasons why those 'Chinks' just aren't as smart as the facts show them to be.

There are over 1 billion Chinese and they're just as smart as your average Goy White American. Which means there are 40-50 million Chinese who could move here and become Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Engineers, etc. and make whatever is left of the White Goy Professional class a relic of the past.

So open borders, massive Chinese immigration, what could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

Macao only scores comparable to Portugal and Italy if you are either stupid or a liar... Macau is wedged between Italy and Portugal only on the reading component.


So are you stupid, or a liar?

Severn said...

If putting Chinese down make American happy about themselves and relax a bit, i am all for it.


Stop being so paranoid. Nobody is "putting Chinese down", we're just commenting on the futility of looking at the PISA scores for Shanghai and trying to draw any meaningful national conclusions from them.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"If US wants to keep herself competitive,she'd better learn how to attract and keep the 'smart immigrants' namely East Asians and Indians."

How about simply learning how to breed more Americans? People on tv don't seem to have a problem doing that; or people in the movies, on billboards, in magazine ads, wherever...

jody said...

my goodness that's a beautiful chart. with all the pretty colors and lines. must have taken an hour to do that on a computer.

ITriedtobeaCynic said...

Captain Jack makes a point about diaspora cf Israeli Jews that I would put more strongly: there is no field of activity except warfare in which any of the top ten Jewish achievers is Israeli. (or was Israeli while achieving - some may have semi-retired there).

sabril said...

"My point was more that anyone with real smarts would choose to go where the opportunity is, which mostly isn't in Israel."

Well it depends how ambitious you are. There are plenty of very smart guys who just want a steady professional job or business, a nice house in a decent neighborhood, a wife who loves him, and 2 or 3 children.

In many ways, this is easier to achieve in Israel than in the United States because schools in Israel are segregated by religion and also because of the social emphasis on marriage and family.

I do agree that ambitious Israelis, just like ambitious people from other places, have a tendency to move to the United States.

Another issue with the ultra-religious is that when you have 6 or 7 children, there is proportionately less energy available to make sure they are doing okay in school.

Heather said...

"Stop making fun of the Mexicans in America because they'll be the majority in the future by default."

Stop making jokes sir, you are embarrasing yourself.

Also I think it should be noted, that the other areas of China weren't so succesful.

Jack Ketch said...

Laban Tall wrote:

"The UK has fallen to be below OECD average in maths and reading - still above in science. 23% of UK primary school pupils are ethnic minority, 20% in secondary schools."

Your second sentence implies that the proportion of ethnic minority pupils is to blame for the UK falling below the OECD averages.

This can be put to the test by breaking down the UK figures into those for England, Wales and Scotland, because ethnic minority pupils will comprise a much larger proportion in England than in the other two countries.

none of the above said...

Is there good data about comparing immigrant groups to their source population? My impression is that we get the cream of the crop immigrating from India, and a much wider selection immigration from Mexico, for example. Selective migration is probably an important part of understanding immigration.

One irony: when the source country is a misgoverned mess, we probably get higher quality immigrants. Plenty of people whose genetic endowments would have let them be big successes in a first world country may be stuck as peasant farmers in Guatemala, and we might benefit from them coming. As Guatemala becomes more functional, the more able natives succeed at home and don't emigrate, and we get a less able set of immigrants.

Fractional Finn said...

An interesting difference in culture to note:

* Educrats in China probably lose their jobs if they come short of expectations on PISA test scores.

* Educrats in the US probably will be rewarded with bigger salaries and larger budgets in the panic they can help create to address the PISA "gap".

American Marxists blank-slate educrates and limo elite Republicrats willfully hobble the majority of our best and brightest students. They are happy to sacrifice our public school system to their hypocritical failed social experiments and status mongering because most send their kids to private schools or live in elite enclaves.

My take is that China's education system is like their sports system which follows the old Soviet Olympic combine. Constantly search out the most gifted pupils from the earliest age, intensively train, challenge and promote them over all else.

Compare that to the US where only $0.02 of every $100.00 is spent on G&T at the state and local level and virtually nothing at the fed level.

Even this tiny G&T budget is mostly spent on helping traditionally underrepresented G&T students or simply identification with no meaningful or challenging programs.

What would be the outcome if America used this system to groom our future Olympic athletes?

Anonymous said...

Is it a coincidence that the Chinese government is now actively encouraging Shanghai couples to have more than one child?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8166413.stm

Oh you clever eugenicists, you!

adsfasdfsdf said...

"Stop making fun of the Mexicans in America because they'll be the majority in the future by default."

Jews have been and always will be surrounded by a goy majority in this country and every other country(but Israel), but they enjoy making fun of all of us.
I'll bet 99% of dumb polack jokes were Jewish in origin.
So, if we are gonna be surrounded by a Mexican majority in the future, we might as well learn to crack jokes about them as well.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call them clever eugenicists. They are really bad at it in fact. 1 child for urban households and 2 children for rural households. That's gotta do some damage.

Fractional Finn said...

G&T = Gifted and Talented

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call them clever eugenicists. They are really bad at it in fact. 1 child for urban households and 2 children for rural households. That's gotta do some damage.

Actually, I bet that is a net gain. Intelligent people are hardly going to have any kids anyway. Without the "2 child policy" limiting rural populations, they would probably have 6+ children.

Anonymous said...

"I'll bet 99% of dumb polack jokes were Jewish in origin."

No: this is not a question for guesswork, it's known they were made up by Irish-Americans in Chicago.
Incidentally, the often vicious hostility that Roman Catholic immigrants from continental Europe a century ago faced from the already-established Irish seems to be written out of the sentimentalized and celebratory history of non-WASP immigration that I believe makes honest discussion of present-day immigration more difficult.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see how Indian do in this test, and see if the theory that Indian are smart hold any water.

Truth said...

I've read that the origin of Polish jokes was ethnic German soldiers living in Poland.

Anonymous said...

From CNN report: breakdown of American PISA result by races.

Asian american as a group would have rank #2 in the world, while White rank # 6 (not bad at all).
However, Latino would have rank # 41, and Black would have rank #46. shall we say deadweight.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

the often vicious hostility that Roman Catholic immigrants from continental Europe a century ago faced from the already-established Irish seems to be written out of the sentimentalized and celebratory history of non-WASP immigration that I believe makes honest discussion of present-day immigration more difficult."

See: The Untouchables. Who hated each other the most? The Irish and the Italians. And that was a much simplified version of things.

Anonymous said...

Why do people keep mistaking only on the reading comprehension component of the PISA results as the comprehensive score?

To expand on what the previous anon said. All scores including the US scores broken down by race is available from nces.ed.gov

American scores from math/reading/science for white/black/hispanic/asian is below

515 423 453 524

525 441 466 541

532 435 464 536

American blacks score slightly below Chile but still above Mexico

Anonymous said...

See: The Untouchables.

Ah, yes, movies are such an excellent guide to history. Shall I tell you of the lessons I learned from watching Braveheart?

Who hated each other the most? The Irish and the Italians.

Since the Irish were the cops and the Italians were the crooks, I suppose it's plausible that there was some animosity between the two groups. But that they "hated each other most" is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Based on the math scores, it looks like these days America is Ireland led by Singapore.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

"I said the Zhangs aren't Cohens, but neither are the Smiths."

I agree with a lot of what you wrote but I disagree with this. Not only would I rank the Smiths above the Cohens, but I'd rank the Smiths above the Smith-Cohens.

The anglo smart fraction has seemed remarkably robust to me by every measure, from math competition performance to wealth accumulation achievement. Of 3 cohorts: cognitive elite anglos, cognitive elite ashkis, and cognitive elite anglo-ashki hybrids, I'd still rank anglos as #1.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

Israel has an atrocious educational system where only a very small number of students are taught higher level material. This makes a good contrast between psychometric testing and academic exams.

Anonymous said...

I'm amused at how off-base and downright false many of the posters here are in their ignorance of how China works-

First off to the guy who claimed urban Chinese score higher than rural- no, they do not. Shanghai scores the LOWEST on the GaoKao- DESPITE having an easier test.

Likewise, Beijing's IQ score was 109- not 100.

Third, Shanghainese and Hong Kongers are not genetically similar at all. Only in the deep south do you have relatively more Southeast Asian people- like Hong Kong, Guangdong, etc.

The Shanghainese have a lot more North Chinese blood.

BTW the highest scoring province is Shandong, a Northern, coastal province.

AF said...

I have to say the education system has failed american kids. I still believe american kids can do at least equally well as those from other countries, if dicipline, rigor, and high expectation becomes an integral part of the education process. To note that I did not include "more money" as a pre-condition to a better education. I used to be a shanghainese, born, grown up, and educated in Shanghai. My parents were of typical working class. My classes were usually 50 or so students in size, we studied hard, but we played ping pong and basket ball as well. I went from primary school, middle school, high school all the way to college. Then, I learned English, and earned top/high scores in TOEFL and GRE, and came to US for a graduate study. Today I am a senior manager at one of the top 500 US companies. I manage a department with offices and staff members in countries around the globe. The point is, you don't need a lot of money to make education work, you need, again, dicipline, rigor, high expectation, and finally but equally important, measurements!